Electric & hybrid vessels – a secret safety risk?
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Each year there are built more and more hybrid or electric vessels worldwide. These ships range from cruise ships accommodating thousands of passengers to offshore support vessels. These ships increasingly rely on lithium batteries for energy storage. This technology has proven itself to be useful and reliable, but as this is relatively new technology there is still a lack of track-record and performance history. Maritime safety requires the competency from the crewmembers. There most of the crew do not always possess the right skills simply because they are not exposed to the training processes that are geared towards boosting their knowledge and technical skills. Most of the crew members cite a lack of skill and experience in the operational processes. In other words, they do not have the right skills and experience in undertaking the operational processes that are mostly concerned with the technical aspects. Research on Electric and Hybrid vessels entails several criteria on different variables such as competence of the crew, requirements for the crew, requirements for a hybrid or electric vessel and real safety needs of the ships. Various specialists have different views about each phenomenon under the theory chapters, and these theoretical arguments give information on critical requirements for safety and competence of personnel in the ordinary way of carrying out activities. The thesis findings are based on several interviews, theoretical research and the analysis of requirements. The concept of competence occupies a key position in the informant’s perception, and lack of competence was a source of insecurity in regard to electric and hybrid vessels. Findings indicate is that the current requirements for vessel and crew competence fall short of matching the real safety needs on board.